We previously reviewed OSHA requirements for businesses and threat assessments in the workplace, but there is always more to learn.
All too frequently on the news we hear about a “disgruntled” employee who shot innocent co-workers simply doing their job, or the ex-spouse of an employee who wanted to get revenge in the sanctity of the workplace, or a customer whose complaints turned violent quickly. Sadly, these are the realities of workplace violence. In the last month, we learned about two major workplace violence instances in Miami and Orlando in which innocent people were subject to savagery and death.
It is time for the conversation to start as workplace violence truly could happen at any time. The best defense any company can have is to be prepared, even if the violence does not turn deadly and does not involve a traditional weapon. Businesses today, of all sizes, must discuss this reality.
Important steps can be taken to save lives of your employees, including:
- having a safety plan in place that identifies an exit route and meeting place
- recognizing potential warning signs and signals, such as threatening words or actions in person or on social media
- learning the craft of de-escalating an aggressive or violent person
(i.e., “active listening”)
- rehearsing your plan and revising as necessary
As always, communication, policies, training and education are the cornerstones.
If you would like assistance in establishing a safety plan for your business, please contact labor and employment law attorney Nicole Croddick, Esq., who regularly consults companies on such important issues.